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Zero-for-Zero Critics Miss the Mark…Again

(Chuck Muth, President, Citizen Outreach) – Big Candy’s “Coalition for Sugar Reform,” as expected, has issued a statement in opposition to Rep. Ted Yoho’s proposed common-sense Zero-for-Zero reform resolution for the U.S. sugar program.

The coalition – backed by self-interested sweets manufacturers such as the American Bakers Association, the National Confectioners Association, the American Beverage Association, the Peanut and Tree Nut Processors Association and the Sweetener Users Association – trotted out the usual lame arguments to attack Yoho’s bill…

“The so-called zero-for-zero charade is back. Zero-for-zero is just a way for Congress to kick the can down the road on sugar policy reform – Big Sugar keeps getting subsidies from the federal government while American manufacturers, workers and hardworking families keep footing the bill.

“Current U.S. sugar policy artificially inflates domestic sugar prices, costing American consumers $3 billion per year. Higher U.S. sugar prices have contributed to the loss of 123,000 American manufacturing jobs over the last 18 years, and taxpayers were left on the hook for more than $250 million between 2013 and 2014.”

From the top…

  • U.S. sugar farmers receive no taxpayer subsidies from the federal government.  None.  It’s a myth.  Some might even call it “fake news.”
  • The U.S. sugar policy doesn’t “inflate” sugar prices.  In fact, the cost of a pound of domestic sugar today is almost identical to the cost of domestic sugar 30 years ago.
  • As such, it’s not the cost of sugar that’s causing manufacturers to move out of the country, but the high cost of labor, taxation and regulation.
  • The only reason taxpayers were “left on the hook” in that one year over the last 20 was Mexico getting caught unlawfully “dumping” government-subsidized sugar on the U.S. market.

Yoho’s Zero-for-Zero proposal is legislative beauty in its simplicity: The United States will eliminate its modest tariffs and quotas on sugar imports in return for foreign governments ending their unfair subsidies for their own sugar producers.

Zero government involvement for us; zero government involvement for them.  Fair and balanced trade in a true global free market.  Sweet!